Nugent never did drugs or drank heavily. He says his addiction was women.
By the time he was 14, his first band, The Lourds, were playing around Detroit and ended up on bills with The Beau Brummells and The Supremes. When Ted was 15, his family moved to Chicago despite his objections. There, he formed The Amboy Dukes, and when he graduated high school in 1967, he took the band back to Detroit, and in 1968 they had a hit with "Journey To The Center Of The Mind
Nugent went to great lengths to avoid serving in the Army and continue his music career. When he got his draft notice at age 18, he had 30 days before his physical, which was plenty of time for him to deteriorate his condition. He immediately stopped bathing and shaving, and started eating only unhealthy foods. A week before the physical, he stopped using the bathroom and just went in his pants. Never a drug user, he snorted some lines of crystal meth. When he showed up for the physical, he was a complete mess, telling High Times in a 1977 interview, "I was a walking, talking hunk of human s--t. I made gutter swine hippies look like football players."
The ruse worked, as Nugent passed out when they put the needle in his arm for the blood test, and proved that he was clearly not fit to serve. He was classified 4-F, not acceptable under "physical, mental, or moral standards." Nugent said that he would have been great in the Army, but he had better things to do.
In 2006, Nugent claimed he made up the story, but military records prove he did get the 4-F classification.
He had a relationship with a 17-year old Hawaiian girl when he was 30. He became her legal guardian in order to comply with laws regarding relationships with minors.
Nugent is an avid hunter and outspoken supporter of the right to bear arms. He frequently appears on television discussions on these issues, usually making inflammatory comments that rile the other guests.
He had two children with his first wife, who died in a car accident after their divorce.
His nickname is "The Motor City Madman." The Motor City part is because he's from Detroit, and the Madman comes from his extreme behavior, especially on stage. Nugent takes pride in playing "on the edge," meaning he puts all his energy into his performances. He claims that he passed out on stage on several occasions from hyperventilating and screaming too hard.
A relentless live performer, by 2020 he had played about 6700 shows, spending a great deal of time wearing only a loincloth on stage. Nugent keeps track of every show and knows exactly how many he's played. His count includes every performance (which he calls "rock-outs"), from school dances to stadiums.
Bertrand - Paris, France
He is on the board of directors of The National Rifle Association, although he usually goes hunting with a bow and arrow. He eats everything he kills.
Tom - Trowbridge, England
Ted appeared as a drug dealer on the season 2 Miami Vice
episode "Definitely Miami." Later that season his song "Little Miss Dangerous" was used to open a Vice episode of the same name.
Matt - Pittsburg, KS
The cat who played Mr. Bigglesworth in the Austin Powers movies was actually named Ted Nude-gent.
Nugent doesn't write down his lyrics, preferring to improvise them in the studio. "I don't have a pen and paper anywhere near my guitars," he said in a Songfacts interview
. "I've never written down a chord or a lick or a lyric or melody - I just start screaming."